Record Number Of Engines Steam Into Masham
On Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th July, the North Yorkshire town of Masham will once again be alive with steam, with impressive steam engines rolling into the "Gateway to Wensleydale" in a scene repeated annually since 1965.
This year's event will see 45 full-size steam engines and around 800 other exhibits including over 150 tractors arrive from all over Britain. They will assemble at Marfield on the A6108 (Leyburn Road) on the North side of Masham for the two-day celebration.
But this is not just an event for the enthusiast. The Rally celebrates the history of Yorkshire's farming community and all its rural activities, linked to the steam engines used in farming and haulage which provided Masham with communication and industry for over a century.
From logcutting to haybaling to milking machinery, the Rally hosts beautifully maintained machines that older folk will remember from their childhoods and younger people will find of great historical interest.
The organisers have planned that the weekend will be filled with entertainment - in the ring and around the fields - for families, enthusiasts and anyone looking for a unique event to be part of.
On the Saturday evening (from 6pm) engines parade into Masham's market place, the largest in Yorkshire, for a gathering of steam, chat, and perhaps a pint or two of good Masham ale. The excitement of the crowds, and the sound and smell of the enormous steam engines, make this one the town's favourite days of any year.
Since 1965, the Masham Steam Engine Rally has been a highlight of the Dales year, and an invaluable fundraiser for Masham's handsome Town Hall, which would long since have closed without Rally support.
Profits from the 2016 Rally have funded a major redecoration of the town hall foyer and stairs, renewing the external stairs, sealing the main hall floor, and overhauling the storage shed - essential work made beautiful, like the working engines, vehicles and machines celebrated at the Rally.
The fact that this event has been carried on for half a century bears testament to the hard work and determination of the dozens of volunteers, young and old, who return annually to produce a colourful and vibrant event.
As organiser Flo Grainger, whose involvement, and enthusiasm spans over 40 years, says, "Steam engines are totally captivating, and like human beings have a heart. When an engine is ticking over at 62 rpm it is almost the same rhythm of a heartbeat, and the warmth and smell of steam gives the aura that captures the atmosphere of the occasion."
The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday 15th-16th July at Marfield Fields on A6108 at Masham, and begins at 9.30am each day. Adult entrance is £10, concessions £8, children just £2 and under-5s free.
Record Number Of Engines Steam Into Masham, 4th July 2017, 12:37 PM